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The science of handwashing

Handwashing is a simple, daily task that we do most of the time without thinking about it. Here are some tips and tricks for handwashing from a nursing student.

1. Before using soap, rinse your hands with water. This helps the soap create suds which are what traps the germs.

2. Find the perfect water temperature. Washing your hands with cold water can prevent the soap from lathering but washing them with hot water can lead to skin damage. Find the balance.

Photo by Matthew Simonson

3. It is recommended that you scrub your hands with soap for 20 seconds before rinsing. While scrubbing your hands, do not forget to wash in between your fingers, under your fingernails and the backs of your hands. Scrub all the way to your wrists for ultimate cleaning.

4. Rinse with your fingers pointed downwards. This helps prevent the germs and bacteria from traveling to your wrists or forearms.

5. When drying your hands, try to avoid rubbing them. The best technique is to pat them dry. Rubbing can lead to dry skin and skin irritation.

6. Sometimes a bathroom is not available. In those cases, hand sanitizer is the perfect substitute. This can be purchased at any supermarket or convenience store.

Now you can wash your hands like a professional and make your mom proud.